Last week two of my favorite teachers stood at the school gates saying “good morning” to every student as they walked in. Except that wasn’t it, they were down on their knees, at eye level with the kids and making personalized comments to everyone. Whether it was something great they saw them do at recess, or reuniting with one of their former students, the energy and love was incredible. So much so, I jumped off my bike and lined up for a high five myself! (— and this is from a Brit who once had a client teaching me just how to high five without missing!)
In my other daughters school every morning and afternoon the head of school and teachers work the school car line. No it’s not a scene from Big Little Lies (!) but again a way the faculty are making brief but personal connections with their students and families.
It reminds me of the video clip of the teacher who came up with a unique handshake for every single one of his classmates. You can find it here.
Now you may come to have known me as the Thoughtfully Ruthless one who is always telling you to be concise and selfish, this is where I will tell you the opposite is true. Not enough leaders are taking time to say hello to their teams. Especially when your team is remote.
I’ve sat in my clients open plan offices and watched leaders arrive and walk through the cubicles with their eyes fixated on their desk or their phone without even acknowledging their team around them. I’ve heard from teams who rarely hear from their boss. I spoke to an executive last week at a major studio who had not had a single 1-1 conversation with his immediate boss, an SVP in the whole 18 months he worked for him. It’s no surprise he had just quit.
At my first job running the training department at House of Fraser Department Store in Birmingham, every New Years Day, Rutherford Rabey the Store Manager would stand at the staff entrance wishing his 2000 employees Happy New Year (he was Scottish and there were bagpipes and whiskey —not sure I’d recommend that Today!) but his sentiment was well felt.
It’s likely you are going through major changes at work, acquisitions, new products, new bosses, different ways of working. Which makes connecting with your team all the more important.
I’ll be running a webinar on November 15th at 11:00am PT “ Say What? - 17 Ways to Immediately Inspire Your Team” sign up here.
As my coach Paolo at CrossFit says, “be real nice not fake nice!”
Dedicated to growing your business,
P.S. I hope you enjoyed this week's VAL-uable Insights, sign up here to get them in your inbox each Monday morning: http://valwrightconsulting.com/newsletter-sign-up/